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Northern Virginia teacher evaluations to put greater weight on student progress

Published on: 
Tue, 06/12/2012
Media Source: 
Washington Post

School systems across Northern Virginia are — grudgingly, in some cases — joining a national movement to consider student academic progress as a major factor in teacher evaluations.On Monday, Fairfax County officials put forth a plan to base 40 percent of performance reviews on student achievement, which could mean scores on state tests, Advanced Placement exams or other measures. Other systems are finalizing plans this month.

Virginia education officials, prodded by the federal government, have required school systems to develop evaluations, effective next school year, that incorporate student growth as a key factor.

It’s a sea change in philosophy: Until now, the state’s teachers have largely been judged on how they deliver information, not on whether kids learn.

At least 17 states now base teacher evaluations largely on student performance, according to the National Council on Teacher Quality, a Washington-based advocacy group.

In the District, student progress — including standardized test scores for some teachers — counts for 50 percent in evaluations. It will count for 50 percent in all Maryland schools beginning in 2013-14.

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